there is hope in love

nothing could have prepared me for what my heart saw today.

we’re getting a referral patient today, by the way”, smiled my sisterinlaw. great timing too; our new nurse from australia had just arrived the night prior and what a fantastic way to “throw her in” to the lovely craziness.

she (the patient) was referred to us by our doctor who works with us at our foundation… the TB, or tubercliosis, had taken over beyond fixing. and that we, as a foundation, could help her…that we would accept her….that we would love her.

she arrived, skinny, so very skinny. i am not a medical person, although i was a lay midwife, and can recognize people with TB. and indeed she did.

she had been sick for a long time. and they had put some sort of shunt in her side…’to help her breathe”… and had some lessions that my sisterinlaw and the nurse agreed were most probably TB lessions.

her family came with her - her husband and 3 young children. a daughter about 5, a son about 3 and a littler son under 2.

our social worker came and went, as our nurse and i stayed outside with the family. the family would leave her with us, and go back to the province where the husband has a job. she would be all alone here in the metro, sick…so very sick. i was thankful she was with us though, here.

as we were conversing and i tried to get the kids to warm up to me by asking them questions about how old they were and such, i looked at the mom and tears were streaming down her face.

it was right then that i was suddenly aware: i will bet she is wondering if she will ever see her kids again. i wonder if she knows how “far gone” she is? did she wonder if she would recover? suddenly i felt this knot in my heart…wondering how i would feel if i were in her situation. i COULDN’T even imagine what she was thinking and feeling. i swallowed back my tears.

at that moment i went to her i put my arm around her. i was started to feel how skinny she really was, as all i could feel was bones through her clothes. oh sweet mama…

the children were watching their mama…looking quite concerned. i decided i would take some funny photos of the kids, as to try and get them distracted from their silent, weeping mother, who our nurse had traded off with me and come alongside her and was loving her. it worked - the kids were enthralled with getting their photos taken.

then i had an idea - call it a god moment. i suggested we get a family photo so that mommy could have all her kids near to her in her room so she wouldn’t miss them so much. mom bravely smiled, and i could tell tears were just under the surface again.

together, the 5 of them sat before me and i took 3 photos of them. and i did all i could to not cry, as i wondered - was this their last family photo together? it was in this moment that i was reminded that THIS is part of why i am here at this foundation - to document THESE moments.

thinking back to this family and i began to wonder, will this be their last moments together as family? perhaps. yes…maybe it will be. sigh. but we are believing that god can do a miracle and heal this young mothers body.

the tears flowed down mama’s face as the daddy and children said their goodbyes and walked to find a jeep to take them away. the weeping..the deep within yet quiet crying this mother was experiencing almost pushed me over the edge.

as my sisterinlaw gently brought her inside and walked her carefully and slowly up to the isolation room that she would be staying in, i held back a bit and took this photo below with my phone. my sisterinlaw taking this sweet, frail, sick mama’s hand in hers, leading the way. their silhouettes and light at the end of the hallway. it spoke to every part of my being.

here she found herself at our foundation. here she will find and know love and hope in Him. and here, i pray, she will find much peace in this seemingly vast chaos and dispair.

that’s what god does….brings us those who need to be led to love and hope.




Stan Peters
Wow. Just Wow.
Pilar Tuason
Wow Tracey.. what a story... Thank goodness there are people like you and your sister in law in this country that will help out others unconditionally.. I really hope she makes it...
Mick and Ruth Evans
Thank for sending this, Tracey! We will pray for this dear family and especially for her and her parents. So sad!!
Thank you for writing this. Thank you for photographing her. You are a hero to me.

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